CCIE Security Overview
Learn more about the benefits and requirements associated with achieving a CCIE Security certification. (5:42 min)
The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Security (CCIE Security) program recognizes individuals who have the knowledge and skills to implement, maintain and support extensive Cisco Network Security Solutions using the latest industry best practices and technologies.
There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required. Instead, candidates must first pass a written qualification exam and then the corresponding hands-on lab exam. You are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the topics in the exam blueprints and strongly encouraged to have three to five years of job experience before attempting certification.
Step One: CCIE Security Written Exam
You must pass the two-hour, written qualification exam covering networking concepts and some equipment commands before you are eligible to schedule the lab exam.
- Written Exam Information
- Schedule and Pay Information for the Written Exam
- Revision to CCIE and CCDE Written Exams Retake Policy (effective August 2, 2014)
Step Two: CCIE Security Lab Exam
The eight-hour lab exam tests your ability to get a secure network running in a timed test situation. You must make an initial attempt of the CCIE lab exam within 18-months of passing the CCIE written exam. If you do not pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam, you must retake the written exam before being allowed to attempt the lab exam again.
The following resources are suggested study materials:
- Connect with a CCIE Security Study Partner
- CCIE Security Preparation Tips
- Understanding Cisco IPS Interface Types and Modes
- CCIE Security Lab Equipment and Software
Cisco Learning Network Resources
Get all your CCIE Security questions answered.
Learning Partner Content
- Partners: Log in for Partner Education Connection (PEC) curricula.
To earn this Cisco certification, you must pass the following exam(s):
CCIE Security Written Exam
(350-018 CCIE Security)
The written exam is a two-hour, multiple choice test with 90-110 questions covering areas such as security protocols, operating systems, application protocols, security technologies, and Cisco security applications. All exam materials are provided and no outside reference materials are allowed.
- Learn more about the 350-018 CCIE Security exam
- Register for the exam
- Read current exam policies and requirements
CCIE Security Lab Exam
The eight-hour lab exam tests your ability to get a secure network running in a timed test situation.
CCIEs Are Required to Recertify Every Two Years.
Active CCIE status shows your commitment to maintaining expert-level knowledge in an industry critical to the success of virtually every organization. CCIEs are encouraged to continually expand their technical knowledge and are required to pass a recertification exam every two years. If you do not complete your recertification before the deadlines, your CCIE certification will be suspended and you and your employer will lose the benefits associated with your expert status. You have one year to reinstate your CCIE status before you become inactive and must begin the certification process all over again.
- Your recertification deadline can be viewed online anytime (with login) at Certification Status.
- Subsequent recertification deadlines are always based on your original certification date, not on when you took your last recertification exam.
- To maintain active status, every 24-months CCIEs are required to pass one of the following before the certification expiration date:
- Pass any current CCIE Written Exam OR CCIE Lab Exam or
- Pass the current CCDE Written Exam OR current CCDE Practical Exam, or
- Pass the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview AND the CCAr board review to extend lower certifications.
- CCIE certification automatically extends other Cisco Certifications, such as CCNP or CCNA.
- Candidates can only apply one passed written exam towards recertification for every 24 month recertification period.
- Candidates must wait 15 calendar days between attempts at the written exam.
- Certification candidates are responsible for keeping track of their certification expiration dates. Please plan your recertification accordingly. If your CCIE recertification requirements are not completed on or before the certification's expiration date, your CCIE certification will be suspended for one year. Candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam. If a candidate does not recertify prior to the one year deadline and your employer will be notified. Suspended candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam or practical lab before their expert level certification becomes permanently inactive. Inactive CCIE professionals lose all benefits and must pass both the CCIE written and lab exams again.
- Achieving or recertifying CCIE automatically extends your active Entry, Associate, Professional or other Expert level certification(s), or Specialist certifications up to the expiration date of the latest CCIE, CCDE or CCAr certification achieved.
- Be sure to use the same ID number you were assigned for your original qualification exam to ensure your profile is updated accurately. If you have any questions about which ID number to use, contact CCIE support.